Reading J’s Letters

I’m a novice blogger. Trundling round the blogisphere has made me think more deeply about the connection of things. How similar people are. How hard we find it to be eloquent about emotion in real life and how much easier it seems when it’s just you and the keyboard. (Duh, like, the purpose of the entire body of human literature, dude.)

Anyway, this weekend I was thinking specifically about the various missives lovers send each other when they’re apart. One on one personal things, filled largely with longing, lust and coy little sharings. As I deleted 53 sms’s from a (bar)man who didn’t deserve me (you’d think I’d’ve worked that out earlier), I thought of J’s letters. The twelve letters he wrote to me nine years ago, between July and December of 1997. Just before he broke my heart.

The letters have been sitting there, like proof. I kept them. I knew I’d want to read them. In the past, I’d melodramatically burnt and returned the charred remnants of a lover’s letters and then regretted it, a lot. But I didn’t think it would take me this long to read J’s.

At the time I thought maybe, when I was a real grown up, cavalier and enlightened, I’d be able to read them fondly and reminisce. That they’d offer some final insight into the man who marked my journey into the dark part of womanhood. But until Saturday, I couldn’t. J was my first great love and he hurt me, really, really hurt me.

So I sat on the floor, with some wine and a collection of dodgy rock ballades (penchant for melodrama still in evidence, then) and I read those letters. And I was fine. No tears, despite the dodgy ballades and no great wave of fondness either. J’s letters were sweet. A little awkward. Full of incidental news and observations and one rambling rant about well Chelsea were doing in the Premiership.

They made me feel a little sad, but mostly I wondered how I’d given so much power to this man who couldn’t spell and who missed most, of all the things from his UK home, Diamond White cider. For nine years, I’ve held my heart a little removed from life. I painted men with the same, cynical brush and kept myself safe. But here I am, nine years later with a box of old letters and no one to write to.

I suppose the point I’m trying to get to, not very eloquently, is that reading all these amazing blogs in their raw, mostly random, sometime raunchy grandeur has in some way set me free. I don’t know if this is just about swapping the couch for the keypad, but maybe it’s about not feeling quite so alone. I even read J’s letters, for God’s sake, and it didn’t even hurt!


17 thoughts on “Reading J’s Letters

  1. jacktonsil says:

    ‘The eloquence of emotion’?

    That’s cool. And ‘swapping the couch for the keypad’ – you got a future on this here blog. And as for smss, well—

    Hey, Mdw, did you know that if you type ‘breath’ on predictive you first get ‘create’?

    Sorry, D, little bit of insider trading going on. But you sound like you can hold your own; here’s hoping you get into it.

  2. dolce says:

    Thanks Jack…*grin*…

    when you are waiting
    one kind comment feels like
    thunderous applause

  3. dolce says:

    Loved MdW’s poem (and thoughts) on breath….

  4. dex says:

    A long, long time ago, I burnt all my old letters. Sometimes I regret it, but mostly I’m glad.

    Yeah I know you have to acknowledge and learn from the past, but for me, getting rid of those letters also rid me of the opportunity to dwell on past mistakes.

    It was the most useful Lion match I ever lit.

  5. dolce says:

    Agreed! Much satisfaction in a nice ritual burning. Flickin’ up my zippo and lighting the first page of M’s letters…now that was just pure glee.

  6. dex says:

    a paper fire doesn’t burn quite as brightly as one fueled by say, a volkswagen golf or a 2 bedroom flat in randburg. But hey, it’s better than nothing.

  7. andreas says:

    Yeah, Dolce, people are very similar. And the keypad beats the crap outta the couch. There only one person pretends to listen to you. Here you get quite a few…and it’s consensual so you don’t have to pay them afterwards.

    Cool blog, nice writing.

  8. dolce says:

    …can I call you that? One twisted firestarter to another…I sense some unresolved issues. And that you were never the hot choice for office fire warden!

  9. piousapples says:

    you’re so sexy!

    (my own rendition of that old famous line out of Empire Records)


    I am so confused.

  10. dolce says:

    Thank you! Sadly, yes very sadly, the refered-to couch belongs to me, not a paid for listener….so am doubly delighted to find a little consensual conversation. Especially since I apparently don’t have to pay anyone….

  11. dolce says:

    Oops, sorry…can’t help myself. I get a little fluffy when there is talk of flame. I know I’m playing with the stuff, being so new, but fingers engaged before brain.

  12. dex says:

    there’s more than enough dex for everyone…

    hahaha just kidding.

    but really, there’s enough.

    just kidding.

  13. piousapples says:

    promises, promises, promises.

  14. dex says:

    -you guessed it-


  15. lurchybaby says:

    You ARE F**king excellent, I haven’t a clue what I’m doing? or even
    what a blog is? well some idea of a blog, anyway I think your fantastic, the words the way that you use them etc \/\/()\/\/
    I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’ve just spent about 1/2 hr reading all these, I haven’t a f**king clue whats going on but you are good xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  16. […] How lovely. This day, one large year ago, I wrote my first post on Blogmark. Not long, compared to hoary veterans like Ramona and Dex and Mica and Gazza and Medusa, but long […]

  17. […] the 30th of May 2006 I wrote my first post on a blogspot blog.  A week later, I wrote my first post for Blogmark.  I cannot believe how my life has changed in the two revolutions of the sun since that […]

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